The team at SBS Farms, Inc., led by head trainer Jennifer Alfano, has experienced a very memorable winter season thus far in Ocala, Florida, collecting top placings and championships at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.
Kicking off the winter competition season during Week 3 of the circuit, several championships were claimed by the SBS Farms performance horses. Owned and ridden by Alfano, Candid was named Conformation Hunter champion after sweeping the over fences portion of the division and winning the model class. Silver Lining, owned and ridden by Kathy Chiaf, earned the Adult Amateur, 56 and Over, Hunter championship, and Talladega, owned by Sharon O’Neill and ridden by Alfano, took home the Green 3’6″ Hunter reserve championship.
O’Neill’s Miss Lucy also marked her return back to the show ring for the 2018 season during Week 3, earning second place in the Hi-Low 3’3″ Hunter class in addition to finishing well in the competitive $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix.
Blue’s Traveler, owned and ridden by 10-year-old Molly Gfroerer, impressed the judges during Week 4 to earn the championship in the Children’s Small/Medium Pony Hunter division. The pair stayed consistent in their winning ways to claim the 11 and Under Equitation reserve championship the same week.
Candid and Alfano also continued their streak during Week 4, once again sweeping the over fences competition to win the High Performance Conformation Hunter championship. In addition, 17-year-old Emma Walters and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Crisp claimed the Equithrive 3'3" Large Junior, 16–17, Hunter reserve championship. The pair also won the $1,000 Equithrive Junior 3’3″ Hunter Classic, while Walters finished in second with Alex Trolli’s Del Piero.
Alfano also took home the Week 4 Adequan Hunter reserve championship aboard Silver Lining and Chiaf won the Ariat National Adult Medal with her own Sweetwater.
Week 5 held more exciting results for the SBS Farms team as Gfroerer rode Blue’s Traveler to three blue ribbons and a second place in the 11 and Under Equitation division for the championship. The pair also secured a first and two second-placed ribbons in the competitive Post Time Children's Hunter division, while Abby Strohmeyer and SBS Farms’ Stardust and Alfano and Silver Lining were reserve champions in the Adult Amateur, 18–35, Hunters and the Adequan Hunter divisions, respectively.
The sixth week of competition at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit brought continued success for the SBS Farms team as Gfroerer and Blue’s Traveler claimed the reserve championship in the 11 and Under Equitation division. The talented pair once again also took home top placings in the Children’s Small/Medium Pony Hunter division and pinned second in the $500 Marshall and Sterling Children's Pony Hunter Classic.
Alfano and Candid took the reserve tricolor in the competitive Conformation Hunter division. Alfano masterfully displayed the Holsteiner gelding’s rideability in their winning handy round, while also finishing in second place over fences, under saddle and in the model.
Alfano rode another mount, Kindred, owned by Chiaf, to wins over fences and in the under saddle in the Green 3’3″ Hunter division, while Fortune, owned by Gfroerer, also scored top results with Alfano in the Green 3′ Hunter division. Gfroerer, who just started transitioning from ponies to horses in September 2017, later rode Fortune to a first place over fences and second place in the under saddle in the Post Time Children's Hunter division.
The Modified Junior Hunters saw Crisp and Walters walk away with the championship ribbon during Week 6. Walters also rode Del Piero to a fifth place over fences in the division.
In the Antares Junior 3’6″ Hunters, 16-year-old Brian Moggre and Over The Top Stables LLC’s The Exchange finished as champions in Section B of the division after winning two over fences rounds and securing a second place over fences and in the handy round.
Week 7 saw similar outcomes as Gfroerer and Blue’s Traveler once again picked up the championship ribbon, but this time it was in the 13 and Under Equitation division. They also earned top ribbons in the Children’s Small/Medium Pony Hunter division.
Walters and Crisp proved themselves yet again by nabbing the tricolor in the Equithrive Large Junior 3’3″ Hunter division during Week 8. They were first in the under saddle class as well as in the $1,000 Equithrive Junior 3’3″ Hunter Classic, and also scored a blue ribbon over fences.
Alfano guided Kindred to a hack win in the Green 3’3″ Hunter division and also rode Talladega to top placings in the Green 3’6″ Hunter division, which included a third place over fences and a fifth place under saddle.
Alfano also piloted Silver Lining to a first and second place over fences in the Adequan Hunter division before owner Chiaf took over the reins and rode to top results in the 3'3" Amateur-Owner, 36 and Over, Hunter division, collecting a third in the handy round and a second place over fences.
Strohmeyer excelled with Stardust in the Adult Amateur, 18–35, Hunter division to close out the eighth week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit and the final week of competition for the team at SBS Farms.
Next, SBS Farms will be traveling to the Lone Star State for the 73rd annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, March 21–April 8 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas.
SBS Farms, Inc. continues the proud tradition of the Buffalo Saddle and Bridle Club as one of the top show stables in the Northeast. Located in Buffalo, New York, Susan Schoellkopf is the executive director of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, which houses both the Buffalo Equestrian Center as well as SBS Farms. Built in 1922, the 160-stall facility is a historical landmark, with its unique English Tudor and Gothic-style architecture.
Special thanks to Phelps Media Group for the press release.